Why Dane Haylett-Petty and Justin Turner Chose Fitstop To Play With Success
Dane Haylett-Petty, Australian Wallabies star and Justin Turner, former Western Force player, are the dynamic duo behind Fitstop Jolimont. From best mates in high school through to playing for the Western Force in their strong professional rugby careers, they came together on the ground of sportsmanship and team comrade and this shines through to their incredible Jolimont community.
Whilst they’ve achieved large-scale success in their careers, both Dane and Justin display such a genuine interest in fitness and health and they’re extremely passionate about their newfound community. More than anything, they’ve got a clear athlete mindset with the grit and determination to stop at nothing to get the results they want.
Speaking to Dane and Justin just 3 short months after their opening was a true delight. With over 220 members a part of their community and a thriving business, we love that investing in Fitstop was the right move for them and has pushed them towards their dreams of a flexible, fulfilling and financially rewarding lifestyle. We hope you enjoy our interview with this passionate duo!
First, take a look into Dane and Justin's opening journey.
1. What were your initial attractions to Fitstop?
Dane: Initially, I had heard raving reviews about this gym in Brisbane some of my friends were members at.
Justin and I had often talked about owning our own gym and had looked at multiple franchises over the years.
Fitstop was the closest style to how we like to train as it involved actual weights with all the main lifts (squat, deadlift, bench press) which many of the other franchises had cut out. There’s also variety across the week with strength metabolic conditioning and endurance.
I’m a big believer in making healthy living as convenient as possible. People are time poor with such busy lives. That’s my focus in my other business, Nourish + Feed, offering healthy food in a drive-thru for people on the run. Fitstop is the exact same. In under an hour, a couple of times a week, people can stay fit, active and healthy.
Justin: The style of training that Fitstop offered was the main attraction for me. Every session has a specific purpose and targets a different component of your fitness, ensuring continual progress & improvement.
2. How did Fitstop compare to other franchises you were looking at?
Dane: Fitstop had some big strengths we loved:
- Heavily invested in Tech - streamlining member experience
- We loved the concept of Saturday Sweat – open to everyone in the community, great opportunity for people to bring their friends, get people trying the fitstop formula etc whilst having the functionalities to prioritise members.
Justin: We looked at a number of other franchises and also considered starting something of our own. There just wasn't anything out there that truly resonated with me. When we discovered Fitstop the main difference was the style of training. It was how we were used to training as athletes but accommodating for every fitness level. Fitstop also has a clear identity and is at a very exciting time in its growth, this made it too good an opportunity to pass on!
3. How have you found your first couple of months as a Fitstop business owner?
Dane: We’ve loved every minute of it. Lots of early mornings and late nights but well worth it. It hasn’t been easy, but Fitstop HQ has been there every step. That’s why you buy into a franchise for the support, systems and processes. Every challenge we’ve confronted, they’ve handled before.
We have an amazing team, in Justin, Jen and Amy, and they’ve done such a great job executing the Fitstop formula and creating energy and excitement in the gym. We have a great community here in Jolimont and we’re going from strength to strength.
Justin: The first three months have been amazing. It's been a steep learning curve regarding the business side of things and I really have to thank Dane for his leadership and guidance. The growth of our incredible community has been the most pleasing aspect of these first few months. To have the ability to impact so many lives each day is something I am really grateful for.
There has certainly been plenty of stress and long days, but Fitstop HQ's support and our Jolimont team have been incredible.
4. What does your Jolimont community mean to you?
Dane: We’re so proud of our Jolimont community, everyone is having so much fun, and they’re seeing genuine results at the same time. We love being able to help support people achieve their health and fitness goals.
All of our growth has been through word of mouth. So many OG members have brought down family, friends and co-workers to train with. It's creating an amazing environment for people to train and enjoy.
Justin: Our community is everything to me; I feel extremely proud to be a part of such an amazing group of people. I say it every day but the VIBE and ENERGY in our gym is incredible. I still get excited to get up at 4 am every day and come engage with our community. Our members are so positive, respectful and proud to be a part of our Fitstop Family!
This is always evident on our Saturday Sweat session when so many of our members bring down friends, family, co-workers to come and experience Fitstop Jolimont.
5. With both of your elite-athlete backgrounds in rugby union, how does Fitstop reflect your style of training?
Dane: We like to be challenged, and every session is challenging, but each session has a clear focus with targets and goals.
Justin and I are both from team sports, so we like training with people – we like to compete while supporting and encouraging each other.
Justin: Fitstop's training methodology is similar to how we used to train as rugby players. With a big focus on functional strength, the Fitsop formula is something I feel very comfortable coaching.
The way Fitstop includes a team element in most sessions is a great way to foster community, accountability and is highly motivating. Every session is challenging in its unique way, just like the days playing rugby.
6. What is your biggest piece of advice for someone wanting to open their own Fitstop and create a strong community as you have?
Dane: Do it! It will be hard, but it will be worth it.
Justin: GO FOR IT! It's definitely a rollercoaster but well worth the ride. Trust the process that Fitstop provides you - the team at HQ will guide you every step of the way!
7. What does your future with Fitstop look like?
Dane: We love having a genuine impact on our Jolimont community and seeing our members live healthier, happier lives.
Right now we are focussed on creating the best gym possible, a place our members love to come to each day.
Justin: First, we’re focused on building an even STRONGER community. Providing a one-stop-shop for our community to take care of themselves and others. I know I’m also super passionate about having a bigger impact in the wider community, such as schools, clubs, and charities, and growing our Jolimont team!
See more of Dane and Justin
Want to get the inside scoop of Fitstop Jolimont and get a true taster for how they’ve created magic in their community? Make sure to follow @fitstop_jolimont on Instagram or Facebook to stay up to date.
We love giving you the opportunity to hear directly from our business owners. Check out the other franchise owner spotlight blogs to stay in the loop! If you're ready to kick some goals and make owning your own Fitstop your next move, enquire today at fitstop.com/franchise.